Athlete’s foot - Fungal foot and Toenail infections

What is athlete's foot?

Fungal foot infections, commonly known as athlete's foot, are a widespread concern affecting many, including athletes, swimmers, and anyone who frequently sweats in enclosed footwear. Despite its name, athlete's foot can affect anyone, leading to redness, flakiness, cracking, and itching of the skin, particularly on the soles and between the toes. It's often confused with other skin conditions like verrucas, which are localised areas of thickened skin caused by a different type of fungal infection.

Prevention and home remedies

Here’s a list of the most common steps to take when it comes to reducing the risk of contracting this infection:

  • Prevention is better than cure, and given that the infection is contracted when walking barefoot in public wet areas, it is recommended to wear sandals or flip-flops when waling in swimming pools, spas, gyms or public showers.
  • At the end of the activity, wash your feet with soap and get them completely dry before putting on your socks or shoes.
  • Pay attention to the type of socks you wear, with materials that allow transpiration and don’t keep moisture in. Alternate shoes or ensure they are completely dry if they got wet the day before.
  • Do not share towels, bed linen or shoes with someone who may have athlete’s foot.
  • Talcum powder will help keep your feet dry
  • Sea salt baths have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Feet must be dried thoroughly when finished soaking.

Treating athlete's foot

For those dealing with athlete's foot, antifungal creams are the primary treatment. Popular options include Lamisil cream (Terbinafine) and various oils or sprays with antifungal properties. It's important to follow the prescribed regimen consistently for effective results.

Toenail fungus: a different challenge

Toenail fungus presents a different set of challenges. It can occur independently or alongside athlete's foot, causing changes such as nail discoloration, white spots, debris accumulation, and thickened nails. Treatment for toenail fungus is more complex and may involve topical antifungals, oral medications, laser therapy, or, in severe cases, nail removal procedures.This can be done by applying a chemical to make the nail fall off or by surgery. The nail will grow back but it might take 12 to 18 months for a toenail to grow out.

Recognising the signs and symptoms of these conditions is crucial for seeking timely medical attention. Mr Francesc Malagelada is dedicated to diagnosing and treating various foot and ankle conditions, providing personalised treatment plans to address your specific needs and help you get back on your feet comfortably. Contact us and book an appointment today!

Keep in mind that our blog is also a great place if you’d like to stay updated on the latest orthopaedic news.

This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your physician for personalised guidance. In case of a medical emergency, contact your doctor or emergency services.